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Discussion Starter #1
I'm planning on getting a tow rig this next year, and around here the Cummins 3/4 ton rigs fetch a quite a few more thousand than the comparable 3/4 ton gasser rigs. Plus I want the quad cab short bed, so that raises the price even more.

I'll likely be daily driving it every day (getting rid of the XJ or Forester), but actually not towing my Jeep much. Probably 5-6 times a year. When I do, it will be up into the mountains, and hundreds of miles.

I'm not sure the difference in the price of a diesel up front will will be countered by the savings in gas mileage.

The question is, how does the 5.9 do with a load? How about the V10? What mileage does the V10 get around town?

Thanks. :)
 

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i wouldn't tow much more than 6k (trailer plus rig) with a 5.9. turns into a pretty big dog after that with the added weight of a 2500 truck. my sister has a 98 2500 she tows a 7k lb. camper with, and it really struggles at times.

either motor is going to suck gas like its job. i've heard of people doing as well as 10-12 around town with v10's, which isn't terrible.

if you can, definitely go for a v10 2500. you'll be way ahead in power.
 

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<snort> Don't sell the 5.9l gasser short. Dad has a 99 3500 gasser with the 5.9l and a 5spd. I've personally scaled that truck & gooseneck at over 36,000 lbs. Yes, it struggles on slopes, but it will move the load.

Mileage is gonna bring the suck with a gas engine. I can't give numbers on the gasser, though, Dad's never figured mileage on it. I drive my 99 CTD every day, get 18.5-19 mpg at 70 mph on my commute to work.
 

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i've heard of people doing as well as 10-12 around town with v10's, which isn't terrible.

if you can, definitely go for a v10 2500. you'll be way ahead in power.
My 2001 quad cab V10 long bed 4x4 with 105,000 miles gets 11.9 mpg on the hwy towing my Jeep between Ohio and TN. Load is about 6000lbs. Speed is 65-70mph

I've gotten as low as 9mpg running 75-80 on same route with same load.

Around town with no highway driving I get 12 mpg. I'm very happy with the mileage compared to my 99 GMC 2500 with the 454. I got a best mpg of 9 mpg and only 6 mpg towing.

Gasser works for me. I've had it 2 years and I only drive it about 10K miles per year.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I kind of think of it like having my 2.5 liter TJ for all these years. I have it on 35s and 4.88s makes it worse, but when I'm pulling hills up the freeway, I'm in the slow lane.

I figure it would be like having the 5.9 - I could make due with towing the few times I will do with it, especially if I build it up a little. The overall cost will save me in the long run, plus the DD mpg will be a blessing. I'm currently uilding a 5.9 for the TJ, so I'm sure I'll know just how to pull the power out of it.

What do you think? Any others tow with the 5.9?
 

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While I haven't owned a 2500 with a 360, I have owned two 1500s with 360s in them. Both had about 200k miles on them when I sold them and the only two repairs I ever had to do to the trucks was 1 water pump and 1 harmonic balancer (the inner half separated from the outer half). Both trucks had automatic transmissions. I never had any issues with the automatics while I owned the trucks. I got both trucks used, so I have no idea if the previous owners had any issues or not. Both of my trucks had 3.55 gears (a 2500 should have 4.10s) and it made the truck a bit slow on takeoff with a load but it was managable. I always towed with the OD off and had no problems maintaining speed. I did not however take it through the mountains with any significant load so I have no idea how it would do with altitude and long, steep grades. I got 16-17mpg on the highway and about 14-15mpg in town with both trucks. I got about 10 mpg towing.

Overall, I have been very happy with the two Dodge v8 gassers that I have had. They have suited my needs nicely. I'm sure that they won't suit everyone's needs and/or expectations however.
 

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I've got a 96 5.9L, Auto, 3.92 gears, and 265-75R16 tires.

It tows 8,000lbs without thinking much about it, 10,500lbs (17,200lbs total) - that's another story, it's a dog. Maybe 4.10 gears would have helped, but it may have just been the auto tranny not liking that much weight behind it.

Fuel economy (gcvw ~15,000lbs) - flats 10-11mpg, a little more if I can get up to 70-72mph and drop in to OD without lugging. 4.5% [email protected] got me 2mpg or so, just a guess but I could watch my gas gauge drop for those 12 or so miles. Typical in mountains is probably 7-9mpg?

mods - K&N air filter, high flow 3" cat, high flow 3" muffler, and I suspect the PO had the computer reprogrammed (not chipped) as I MUST use 92 octane and I know of no other stock dodge in that era that required it. The dash actually has an after market sticker stating such.

The high flow muffler nuked my low end power, it's now all between 3,000 and 5,000rpms.

tranny made it to 140,000 miles before needing a rebuild, by then a half dozen $$$ sensors had wore out.

The 5.9L gasser is actually a bit of a two stroke motor. They like to burn a little oil or leak it in to the valley pan.

that said, I've been thinking about getting a larger truck, I've been treating my 1/2 ton like a 1 ton for a long time and it would be nice to be able to tow 15,000lbs (large 5th or goose). Just haven't decided on the direction to go, gas vs. diesel.
 

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I've got a 96 5.9L, Auto, 3.92 gears, and 265-75R16 tires.

The 5.9L gasser is actually a bit of a two stroke motor. They like to burn a little oil or leak it in to the valley pan.
There's a fix for that problem. http://www.apsprecision.com/billetplenum.html
It may also be the cause of your need for 91 octane.
Dodgetalk.com has about eleventy billion threads on the subject.
 

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Paging Travis............
Which Travis? My dad has a 93 D350 with a 5.9 and 4.10s. It tows good. The biggest thing with smaller gas motors is gearing.
Travis..
 

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I had a 94 2500 / 5.9 / 4wd / 5 speed / 4:10 gears and it would tow what ever I hooked up to. It towed better thatn the 98 CTD that replaced it.

My load was 2k in the bed under the snug top with a 30 ' airstream behind it fully loaded. I worked in Montanna, Colorado, Utah and California so I was pulling grades.

Get a manual and gear it right.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
This is what I was hoping to hear. Good info, guys, thanks.

By getting a 5.9 for my first tow rig I can save a lot of money up front. Of course, if I find a CTD on a good deal I'll pick it up, but Cummins diesels are not cheap around here it seems.

So what gearing comes in the 2500 5.9 auto/manual?
 

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There's a fix for that problem. http://www.apsprecision.com/billetplenum.html
It may also be the cause of your need for 91 octane.
Dodgetalk.com has about eleventy billion threads on the subject.
I've heard about that, I just haven't got a reason to get excited enough to replace it.

I'de be shocked if that was the cause for the 91 octane. Even under no load it pings REAL bad, bad enough that when I tried midgrade I went straight to the auto parts store for octance boost.
 

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I've heard about that, I just haven't got a reason to get excited enough to replace it.

I'de be shocked if that was the cause for the 91 octane. Even under no load it pings REAL bad, bad enough that when I tried midgrade I went straight to the auto parts store for octance boost.
I agree with your suspicion of an upgraded ECU. Have you ever pulled any part numbers off of the ECU to see if it crosses over to a mopar performance ECU or anything?

Additionally, I have yet to actually have a Dodge magnum smallblock that has had the valley pan leak. It seems to be hit or miss. Does yours actually consume oil and/or do something that causes you to think it needs a gasket replacement?
 

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The overall cost will save me in the long run, plus the DD mpg will be a blessing. I'm currently uilding a 5.9 for the TJ, so I'm sure I'll know just how to pull the power out of it.
I used an 01 1500 360/auto/4.10 gears on 35s for a DD and the mileage was between 10-12mpg. It had K&N intake and Gibson exhaust. Never even bothered trying to tow with it.

I'm on my second CTD that I've DD'ed and the 04 got 19-20mpg and the 05 gets 15-16mpg, but it's only got 13k miles so it's still breaking in.
 

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I'de be shocked if that was the cause for the 91 octane. Even under no load it pings REAL bad, bad enough that when I tried midgrade I went straight to the auto parts store for octance boost.
If your computer was reflashed there should be a sticker on it. You can check the number on the computer here.

Then you can check the TSB against this table to see what was done.
 

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I would just save up for a diesel, my 02' 2500 QC short bed CTD 6spd will get 26mpg at 80mph not towing but it has chip/turbo/intake/exhaust/injectors. Haven't towed with it yet but the first week I had it, I got on it everywhere i went and still got 15mpg around town!
 

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I agree with your suspicion of an upgraded ECU. Have you ever pulled any part numbers off of the ECU to see if it crosses over to a mopar performance ECU or anything?

Additionally, I have yet to actually have a Dodge magnum smallblock that has had the valley pan leak. It seems to be hit or miss. Does yours actually consume oil and/or do something that causes you to think it needs a gasket replacement?
There are no stickers or anything on it to denote a performance mopar product OR that it was reprogrammed by a 3rd party. I need to find someone in a dealer one of these days to look up the part number to be sure though.

Not sure mine has the leak or not. It goes through oil, but it's only noticeable while towing or under a heavier load. Heck, the 360-V8 in my 85 waggie does that, I figured it was a 5.9 thing. :laughing:
 

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I would just save up for a diesel, my 02' 2500 QC short bed CTD 6spd will get 26mpg at 80mph not towing but it has chip/turbo/intake/exhaust/injectors. Haven't towed with it yet but the first week I had it, I got on it everywhere i went and still got 15mpg around town!
Drawback to diesel is operating costs and repairs. I've done the math, at least for a 1 ton, it's cheaper to operate a bigblock.

But when your torque needs go over what a big block can provide, diesel just becomes the answer.
 

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There are no stickers or anything on it to denote a performance mopar product OR that it was reprogrammed by a 3rd party. I need to find someone in a dealer one of these days to look up the part number to be sure though.

Not sure mine has the leak or not. It goes through oil, but it's only noticeable while towing or under a heavier load. Heck, the 360-V8 in my 85 waggie does that, I figured it was a 5.9 thing. :laughing:
My buddy's MP computer didn't have any identifiable markings on it either. It looked stock but if you ran the part number you would figure out what it was. That's what I was really wondering was if it had a Mopar part number on it and if you had ran it to see what it was.

The plenum leaks seem to affect certain years more than others from what I've gathered. All of the Dodge trucks that I've dealt with are older ('97 or older) and none of them have been affected. It seems as though most of the people I've heard complaining have trucks built in the late '90s or early '00s. Might have been a poor casting, machining process or something else might have changed to cause the issue to become somewhat chronic.
 
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